DeCamp to End Commuter Bus Service to New York City From New Jersey

DeCamp Bus Lines, which serves riders in Passaic and Essex Counties in northern New Jersey, announced on Monday that it would end its commuter service to and from New York City on April 7.

The company, which has operated in the region for over 150 years, originally using canvas-topped stagecoaches, has struggled to retain commuters since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with ridership now averaging 20 percent of prepandemic levels, according to a news release from DeCamp on Monday.

Daily charter, shuttle and casino services will continue, the release said.

Jonathan DeCamp, the sixth generation of his family to run the company, called the decision to end commuter service into the city “disheartening” in an interview on Monday. He said it wasn’t made lightly, adding, “The pandemic completely changed the landscape.”

In 2020, Mr. DeCamp told The New York Times that the pandemic was “by far the largest challenge” the company had faced.

Daily ridership had fallen from more than 6,500 passengers to fewer than 400 at the time, leading Mr. DeCamp to park his fleet of buses and furlough his work force.

Now, the service, which serves suburbs including Montclair and Bloomfield, averages about 1,250 to 1,300 riders each weekday, across roughly 80 trips to and from the city, Mr. DeCamp said. Before the pandemic, the service made about 223 trips each day, he said.

Federal and state financial assistance helped keep the company afloat in recent years, the announcement said. But with a lack of further assistance at hand, the economic losses have become “too much too bear,” the company said.

Since the start of the pandemic, transportation services across the country — private and public — have been working to claw back ridership. But their recoveries have been complicated.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey reported that its PATH service, which brings commuters in and out of Manhattan, recorded 52 percent of its 2019 ridership levels last year.

Patrick McGeehan contributed reporting.

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